Lake Sainte-Croix and the Gorges du Verdon

Lac de Sainte-Croix du Verdon

Only 50 minutes by car from Cotignac, in the heart of the Verdon regional park, the breathtaking Lac Sainte-Croix and its blue waters can be explored by canoe, pedal boat or electric boat. The lake flows into the mythical Gorges du Verdon, the largest and arguably most majestic canyon in Europe, which offers popular activities such as hiking, rock climbing, bouldering, swimming and water sports.

Get around the Lake

This 2,200 hectare lake was created in 1973 to meet regional electricity requirements, and as a result it is the third largest lake in France. It takes about an hour by car (60km) to travel around it. Sainte-Croix, Bauduen and Les Salles-sur-Verdon are three charming Provençal villages bordering the lake, ready to be explored. Moustiers-Sainte-Marie sits further up, and thanks to its particularly beautiful setting it is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France. For the best panoramic views, try the Valensole plateau, where the lake can be seen the lavender fields, and the Pont du Galetas, the bridge at the entrance of the canyon. For hikers, a multitude of trails are available; we recommend the mule track, through the many wheat and lavender fields, which takes around 2 hours. Follow the yellow markings from Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon and enjoy a 5km walk around the heights of the lake.

Beautiful beaches

For those who want to relax and unwind under the Provençal sun, try the beaches that the Lac Sainte-Croix has to offer. The sandy beach of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon is supervised, directly accessible by car, and very popular in summer. Alternatively, to escape the crowds, try the small shaded beaches of Salles-sur-Verdon, which offer a stunning view of the island of Coste Belle and access to it by pedal boat or canoe. For the more adventurous, the small pebble beach in Bauduen can lead to more private coves. This beautiful natural and unspoiled landscape and its turquoise waters can never fail to please.

Water sports

The Lac Sainte-Croix is an ideal spot for water sports. Fully-equipped nautical bases can be found at Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, Les Salles-sur-Verdon and Bauduen offer a range of activities for the whole family. Canoes, kayaks, paddles, electric boats, pedal boats and even surf bikes are available all day every day to explore both the lake and the two kilometers of canyons. Windsurfing enthusiasts can take advantage of the French Sailing Federation Club and its sailing school open to all. To make the most of these experiences, we recommend that you arrive early in the morning to enjoy a full day at the lake, and always book any activities in advance.

Adventures in the Canyon

The Gorges du Verdon, the largest canyon in Europe, promises thrills as well as breathtaking landscapes. A host of unforgettable experiences are on offer, from white-water rafting to canyoning to mountain biking. For climbers, there are more than 1,500 routes on limestone walls from 250m to 700m deep. For seasoned hikers, the Imbut trail is certainly the most spectacular and the most technical of the Verdon canyon routes. For incomparable views, travel the magnificent ridge route by electric bike. And finally, for an adrenaline rush, dare to bungee jump off the Artuby bridge, the highest in Europe.

Book your stay at Hotel La Falaise and plan your day at Lake Sainte-Croix and the Gorges du Verdon. Refer to the local tourist office sites for more information: